7–30 January 2022 , Huuto Gallery

People go to forests for various reasons and for varying lengths of time, often with harvesting in their minds. Sometimes what is left behind is a ploughed clear-cut area, but other times there are only boot prints left in the mud by a ditch. Sometimes the harvesting tool is a forest machine, sometimes a berry-picking rake. Forest machines take over places, creating new openings in the landscape. The sharply defined boundary created by clear-cutting splits the forest in two. On the map, the forest will shrink and turn into plots of land that create a patchwork, similar to those formed by fields.

Traces is a commemorative speech to a lost place and berry forest. A lost forest gives one a sense of finality. When a forest is felled, you will not see it again in your lifetime. The installation was built using conifer plywood and materials collected from a clear-cutting site. The materials could be seen as an attempt to rebuild the forest, even though their order is different.

An old forest is not able to serve the indicators defined by people in relation to benefit or the time calculated for efficient growth. If you press your fingernail deep enough into the surface of decayed wood, you can find an entire new microscopic society that has its own principles, yet it is somehow linked to the surrounding forest. A forest works to live, to adapt, to survive and to exist. Similarly, people need art – to live, to adapt, to survive and to exist.

Anna Uschanov (b. 1985) is a Helsinki-based painter and puppetry artist. She has graduated from both the Free Art School and the Turku Arts Academy puppetry program. For her, playing with scale, stretching it or shrinking it, is an essential part of the work process. By exploring and combining different materials, she is able to create various landscapes and material entities.

The completion of the work has been supported by: Aura of Puppets, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Finnish Art Society and Arts Promotion Centre Finland. Thank you for your support!

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